the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Alice Tao ’24
I sat down with our Head Prefect Kade Smith and chat about his experience here at Westminster. He shared personal stories, such as his freshman year formal date, and some words of wisdom for younger students. I am excited to share his insights with the Westminster community.
What has been your most memorable moment since freshman year?
Kade: Wow, freshman year was four years ago! I have a couple of memorable moments, so we will go chronologically. In my freshman year, I would say Spring Formal because I asked this junior girl. I thought it would be really fun and she was very nice to me. It was awesome! I remember walking up to her and asking if she would want to go with me. I was super nervous, but it worked out. It turns out that the junior girl was Megan Rittenhouse, who ended up becoming the head prefect of the class of 2020. It was such a full-circle moment for me and the whole thing was just insane. In my sophomore year, although it ended with COVID, I will never forget that in February, there was a girls’ hockey game and it was the most fun I ever had in my entire life. I went down to the rink with 12 of my buddies and we were in the fan section with some parents, who were hanging out with us. We all cheered on the girls, and we ended up winning, which was the best moment ever. During my first junior year, my favorite thing was just being able to see everyone again and witnessing each other grow up. We all grew older and more mature, it was awesome to see the changes. This past year, there were so many good moments: the lacrosse season, the play, and the quad! However, I feel like it wouldn’t be a full circle if I didn’t mention the Lawn Ceremony and being named head prefect. When all my friends surrounded me, it was the most special moment.
What is your favorite Westy tradition and why?
Kade: This is a hard question but I would say my favorite Westy tradition is the Lawn Ceremony because it is very emotional. It is when you see everyone show their true self and how much they care about this campus. Obviously, during the school year, there are many highs and some lows, but at the Lawn Ceremony, everyone shows how much they care for each other and even some tears of joy saying goodbye to the seniors who are graduating. It also honors everyone getting older, and I just think it is the most special tradition we have here.
What would you tell your freshman self and new students?
Kade: Oh, I was a little nugget. Honestly, I would tell my freshman self and new students not to be scared. That is one thing I pride myself on today. … it makes my life so much happier when I’m not stressing about the little things that don’t matter. Of course, it is OK to sometimes stress over school, sports, relationships and the college process, but I would tell my younger self to always be happy. Even more, one of the most essential qualities is respect. Always respect others and I promise when you do that, your life will be a smooth ride.
How do you think these two opening weeks have been?
Kade: I think these two opening weeks have been terrific. Compared to last year when we had masks, we can finally see each other face to face which has brought a lot of charisma to campus. On top of that, opening days were amazing with kickball and ice cream. We were also able to jump right into sports, theater auditions, etc. People are doing what they love, and that boosts the energy on campus.
What are you most excited about this year?
Kade: I am most excited for just every day here on campus. Especially as a senior, I have been here for four years, and this is about to be my fifth. I love this place with all my heart, so I want to make the most out of every single day. In the grand scheme of things, I want this to be the year that people talk about and the year that future community members say, “Remember the class of 2023, it was amazing!”
What is one thing we can do to better the community?
Kade: I would say to be our best selves. The one thing I hope that we can all do is to be able to walk around, and no one will say anything negative about anyone. I also want people to be able to sit down at a table and feel like they are wanted. We are especially emphasizing belonging this year, so I want everybody to feel comfortable in this community.